Deviance

Please Respond to TWO of the following questions. Be sure to consider each element of the question in your response. Use relevant concepts from the Power Points or the book to frame your responses.

-The case of Bernhard Goetz illustrates a key aspect of deviance, namely that deviance is a relative social judgment, not an absolute. Review the case that is presented in the Power Point presentation to see how the jurors decided to acquit Goetz of the assault charges despite the fact that he objectively broke the rules governing his case. What does this case illustrate about the social construction of reality, the relative authority of rule creators and rule enforcers in labeling a person deviant, and the politics of deviance designations?

-Discuss the differences between the “positivist” approach to the study of deviance and the “interactionist” approach to the study of deviance. What are the key differences in how deviance is conceptualized and researched? What are the benefits of each for understanding deviant behavior? Which approach is best suited for the study of what is referred to in the book as “the politics of deviance designation?”

-A key aspect of chapter 2 in the book is the discussion of the “medicalization of deviance,” that is, the 20th century trend toward greater acceptance of medial definitions of deviance as the product of sickness or disease. In you view is this a good development for modern society? Does medicalization of deviance absolve rule breakers of any moral responsibility?What are the possible negative aspects of granting medical authority a dominant voicein defining and dealing with deviance?

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